Tuesday, March 18, 2008

More plants!

Last Friday I made a trip to Annie's Annuals in Richmond! This is one of the most fabulous nurseries around - visit the link on my page if you haven't already! Anyway I mostly stocked up on extras of things I already have, but I did get a few new things - Oenothera pallida, Madia elegans, and Layia glandulosa. Layia glandulosa is an annual with foliage that has a sweet almost pineapple-ly scent. I got two of these and put one in the back where I can lean down and sniff without making a spectacle of myself in front of the traffic and dog-walkers in our front yard. This was my Mom's first trip and she got herself a fuchsia and some other flowers for her deck. The spirit of Eostre is hopping through my garden with abandon as the Equinox nears! More leaves unfurling and bouquets full of Nemophila, Tidy-tips, Gilia tricolor, and California poppy everywhere. Exciting photos to come!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

A Botanical foray

John and I used our brand-new U.C. Botanical Garden membership yesterday - free admission! Here's a few photographic impressions. Look carefully at the pink Cistus flowers for a busy bee!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Leaves, petals, sepals...

As I've mentioned previously, things are leafing out. The rate at which this is happening is amazingly fast! Each day seems to bring more and more green leaves, seemingly unfurled overnight. Bare branches are lit with green flame. And flowers! Native wildflowers overflowing the bounds of their beds with petals open to the sun and to pollinators in wanton abandon! Dawn finds me wandering my garden touching the leaves as the rising sun touches them... This is Spring in California! A transient season, because Summer will scorch and halt this abundance but for now it is here - luxurious and green. Today I walked through the oak and bay woodland near my home and found this same Springing. New leaves of oak, male flowers still in bud and the deep maroon Trillium in the sylvan shade. Ecstatic tumblings of leaves in my garden and the hills, and the flowers everywhere.
Later I'll try posting some pictures to convey these sentiments.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

New Growth Springing

This is a picture of my Golden Currant (Ribes aureum) leafing out. Though leaf-out is always a wonderful and ecstatic event this one holds special significance! I bought this Ribes in a 4" pot at a CNPS sale about 4 or 5 years ago. I put it in the ground in my old garden and promptly forgot about it until one year when it suddenly sprung up by about 5 feet and produced a profusion of lovely yellow blossoms followed by orange then red berries (tasty ones!) When we went to move this shrub was about 8 feet tall and though my intention was to take cuttings I had second thoughts. I just couldn't leave behind this wondrous tall growth! So I resolved to dig it up and take as much of the root as possible. But when I was digging disaster struck: the root broke off, leaving only 10 inches of root. 10 inches of root to 8 feet of shrub - not an encouraging ratio! Furthermore, at the time it had to be dug up it was not yet fully dormant. But I persevered and planted this shrub against a wall near my fountain. So you can imagine my delight when Spring-green leaves festooned the previously bare branches! It gives me hope that the other still dormant cuttings and transplants I took will flourish. This posting also includes a picture of my hummingbird-thrilling Showy Gooseberry (Ribes speciosum). I saw a hummingbird feeding from its brilliantly red flowers today!